To be precise it was, “Typical sneaky ass Maori move to blind side someone”. This was a comment made on the Youtube clip depicting the tackle made by a security guard on the streaker in the rugby test match held in Dunedin last month. I read this comment and was incensed. The racist stereotype that it portrayed was offensive to me. Like a moth to the flame I was drawn into the debate, I should have known better. There were a number of clues that I overlooked in my haste to give the poster the verbal equivalence of a slapping. The first and most important one was that the person appeared to use a pseudonym. Rex Magnum he called himself (well I think it was a he). I am not sure if Mr Magnum was being deliberately provocative or what, however as I said I rose and took the bait.
Over the next few weeks I have engaged in an online duel with him. His comments to me became increasingly torrid. After his last one I finally remembered that I don’t need the last word. I realised that this person had no skills to be able to reflect on their behaviour for a whole lot of reasons. Never mind the fact that his facts were wrong the truth is that he is racist and like most racists he had neither the inclination nor the intelligence to engage in a debate of any meaningful substance, and like many racists before him he wore a cloak. Not a physical cloak like the Klu Klux Klan, but the cloak of anonymity, like the Klan he is a coward. He is enabled by those that regulate the internet.
I have blogged before about how the internet enables people to say things that they would never utter publicly https://kiwipaulspoetry.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/have-a-little-respect-dare-to-care/ , if Rex Magnum had to use his real name when commenting online it is doubtful that he would have posted such a comment. He is probably scared of the consequences of posting racially offensive things under his own name. this leaves a number of possible conclusions he is possibly not that sure of the validity of his argument. He was a friend of the streaker, he was the streaker, or perhaps he is indeed a racist and too cowardly to have the courage of his convictions.
I think that Internet sites that allow people to publish on an anonymous behalf should be held accountable for the content of their posts. Newspapers have stop accepting mom de plumes for letters to the editor except in exceptional circumstances a very long time ago. We have whistleblower laws to protect disclosures and in these circumstances I am not talking about information that is important. I absolutely defend his right to free speech and to think what he likes but he must be accountable and put his name to his comments. In hiding behind a nom de plume it is he who is being typically snaky and blindsiding people.
I have formed some opinions about who this person is and his attitudes to life based on my experience of people who hold similar attitudes and use similar insults that are racist, homophobic, anti intellectual and denigrating, I would even hazard a guess at what he studied at University as he claimed to be degree qualified, however that would in the end make me as bad as him. But back to the main point, although this is a rant about racism and cowards who hide behind false names it is a reminder to me that I don’t have to have the last say and I don’t have to justify my position. I can post a comment online and leave it there, I do not need to justify myself. I actually don’t care whether Rex Magnum agrees with me or not. he is not the kind of person i would want to associate with or have in my circle of friends.
The delicious irony of all this is that karma can be so funny some times. An an acquaintance of mine used to say Maori get this, they get that, he was anti the use of te reo so on and so forth ad nauseam, the absolute beauty is that he has now a Maori Son in Law and Grand Children. In this case however he was always brave enough to be public about his prejudices, where Rex Magnum hides in a corner being the very thing he despises. So whilst i would love the real rex magnum to be outed, I hope that some day he will have to face his own prejudices in the mirror and be confronted and challenged and even dare I say be changed. So Rex Magnum whilst you think you had the last word it still doesn’t make you right.